LIFE & WORK





Maestro SERGIU NATRA is a Romanian-born (1924) in a family- NADLER, LÖEW and LUSTGARTEN, originating in Germany, Czech Republic and Austria.
Been exposed in his childhood, especially at home, to serious classical music and to its sounds ambience, the ambition to become a composer and to compose music was lighted up in him. At the age of six he had began particular music and piano studies that included analyzing musical texts, which were followed by studies at the Jewish conservatory (1942) and at the Music Academy of Bucharest (1953). His studies were at the highest level and included among others, theory, composition, orchestration and modern music, with prominent composers such as Leon Klepper and Michael Andricu.

He began composing at an early age and his works were performed frequently by symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in East Europe.
His work for orchestra March and Coral for symphony orchestra earned him the status of a modernist. For this work and for Divertimento in Ancient style for symphony string orchestra he was awarded the very prestigious award, at that period one of the most important award in the world, the Enescu composition prize, personally by Enescu himself who predicted a "bright future" to the young composer. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra interpreted March and Coral already in 1947 under the baton of Edward Lindenberg.

During the horrors of the Nazis and afterward during the communist regime, the composer and his family, who were considered part of the "elite", suffered from forced labor, prison time and confiscation of all their properties. Some of the composer's works were not preserved or destroyed.

Four Songs for baritone and symphony orchestra, was his last work performed in Romania before immigrating to Israel. A period of three years after submitting the emigration request to the authorities and until emigrating to Israel in 1961 he and his wife Sonia, known sculptor and artist, had been under a ban from publishing and exercising any professional activities.

A year after immigrating to Israel the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sergiu Comissiona, interpreted the Symphony for string orchestra no. II. Music for Violin and Harp was performed by the violinist Miriam Fried and the French harpist Francoise Netter afterwards.

For sixty years the composer is involved in important frameworks which are related to music and the harp, to which he has a special affinity, as a senior management member, a judge and an important composer. This includes activities in the well known International Harp Contest in Israel and in the World Harp Congress.

Alongside composing music, Prof. NATRA had taught outstanding students and between 1975 -1985 he lectured as a professor at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv University, the 20th century music, composition and forms analysis. Over the years, he nurtured, outlined the way and left his mark on generations of students. With many of his students he kept excellent personal and professional relations to this very day. Prof. NATRA important contribution in the field of musical study, theory and composition in Israel and abroad was for forty years. As an excellent lecturer and a professor with a very extensive knowledge and deep understanding in the fields of classical music and its sources, in the study of theory, shape analysis and composition, he lectured and taught with a great devotion all his students. With some of them he maintains rare friendships and professional relations. As always he was unstinting with his time and attention and uncompromising in his insistence on excellence, though always had patience and gentility.

The extent of his knowledge and the quality of his teaching is undoubtedly also manifested in the fact that his students had reach excellent achievement, where some had turned to be successful composers, conductors and musicians all over the world. Many of those who were fortune and had the opportunity to study with him, had attest that they understood later on the tremendous importance of what they had received and learned from NATRA as well as about the significant advantage they had obtained due to him, relative to others. They had also realized the feasibility of the ideas expressed by him, among others, that music, composition and performance, must be treated as a living organ. He had an exceptional and rare ability, as well as willingness, to teach and work with gifted students at their early age and in their most formative stage of musical development, a period when it is the most difficult to communicate with them. Few composers in NATRA's status, were unselfish in dedicating their precious time to very young musicians.

NATRA who had composed music works which belong to the most qualitative symphonic, orchestral and chamber music works worldwide, continues to create and in the recent years he published several new works, including Nehemiah symphony for orchestra which was performed (partially) with great success by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (2010), the symphonic orchestras in Germany and Russia, Cantosonata for Harp premiered in Taiwan (2012), Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (2011) and Esquisses for Flute and Piano (2013) premiered in 2016. In addition Konzertstuck for Two Pianos and symphony orchestra, Divertimento in Ancient Style for Piano in Four Hands, premiered in 2016 USA, A Dialog with Gabi for piano, Symphony in Red, Blue, Yellow and Green, premiered in 2015, which would be performed also in Europe and in the USA, Memories symphony which would be performed in 2018, Occurrences symphony, Ode to Harp, Music for Harp and Strings.

NATRA SERGIU and his wife SONIA, have two sons, Danny and Gabi.

















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© Sonia Natra. All rights reserved for charcoal drawings. 

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